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HBO’s Standalone $15 Service HBO NOW Will Be Apple-Exclusive At Launch

At today’s “Spring Forward” event hosted by Apple, rumors and rumblings of an HBO standalone service came to a halt when the each company’s CEOs took turns explaining the forthcoming HBO NOW. HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler explained that HBO NOW is slated to debut in “early April” alongside introducing a brand new Game of Thrones trailer. While no solid date has been announced, one would assume they’re trying their best to get every bug and kink worked out before April 12th, when three of their most popular and critically-acclaimed shows, including Game of Thrones, return to air.

According to the official press release, HBO NOW registration will be available to all users of an iOS device and Apple TV, including a full month’s free trial after registration. Once signed up, users will then be able to utilize their accounts at HBO is currently working with more partners, and the service will expand to other ecosystems, but for now Apple is where you’ll be getting your non-cable HBO fix.

No mention has been made of folding HBO GO into the HBO NOW service and they seem have plans to retain both services going forward. HBO GO will of course be the free service bundled with cable subscriptions, and HBO NOW will be the standalone web service. Retention of both services might actually allay some of the streaming woes that HBO GO has faced in the past when the demand of the user base was more than the power of their servers.

Plelper announced that the standalone HBO NOW service would cost $14.99 per month, which when it comes to premium streaming pricing is not bad at all. Roughly double the price of a single Netflix streaming subscription, or a single Hulu subscription makes the future of web-based television viewing much more palatable. Along side HBO NOW’s pricing, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple TV units would be reduced by thirty dollars, with all new units now priced at $69. The revolution will not be televised, it will be streamed.

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  1. Staticphear says:

    HBO Now will crash when GOT premiers.

  2. @T_magus666 says:

    This is stupid, idiotic and discriminates against anyone without an iPhone (or iTunes account). Why do elitist Apple users think they are so special…well, companies keep catering to them and their useless phone.

    • michael says:

      Again, HBO HAD to partner with someone. It couldn’t be all platforms as HBO needed them to compete to drive up contract value. And all statistics point to the fact that Apple users watch more online video. Apple has sold more tablets than all other tablet manufacturers combined. They were the smart choice. But, don’t worry, this is likely a short-term exclusivity.

  3. This Zen is Not Zen says:

    Man that bites for Amazon. They had the exclusive streaming content with Amazon Prime about a year back. Now they’re doing an exclusive release for HBO Go with Apple. I get the feeling though that overall they’re trying different platforms to pull people away from Netflix and that’s the overall strategy.

  4. jepker says:

    Looks like I’ll be illegally watching the next GOT again! Thanks HBO. 

  5. piratemom says:

    Apple exclusive just means we continue to stream via torrent sites. I want to play nice but this exclusive bs will not lead me to the legal path.

  6. mmaves says:

    Enough with the exclusive bulls**t.  The more Apple (any company)  tries to lock me in to a singular platform or experience, the more I tune out.  If you can afford the brand experience of iOS and the gamut of the Apple universe, odds are you already have cable and are paying for HBO, and can access the existing streaming platform,  How does excluding other platforms reach your missing audience base?

    • nerdymom says:

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Michael says:

      If you understand the needs of a brand like HBO, you’d understand why this exclusivity happens. HBO has no ability to market itself or to distribute itself. In order to keep the company profitable, and afford such grand budgets such as those for Game of Thrones, HBO needs to be compensated for their content. I would bet my kids on the fact that HBO is and has been in negotiation with both Google and Apple and Apple blinked first. Smaller players like Roku and Netflix simply can’t afford to pay enough to make it worth it for HBO to anger Time Warner, Comcast, Dish, etc.